4 Signs of Potential Water Damage in a Home

18 January 2016
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Articles


In many cases, you may know when you have had water leaking in your home. You may notice a big puddle or pool of water following a pipe bursting, a flood or a foundation problem. However, there are times where the leak is much smaller and you don't have a noticeable amount of water in your home. This may be because a pipe is slowly leaking behind the wall, or you have a slow roof leak. If there is water in your home, no matter how much, it is important that it is removed quickly and properly to prevent mold from developing and to keep your home's structural materials, such as wood and insulation, in tact.

Knowing the signs that indicate water may be present in your home can tip you off that you need to call in a water damage cleanup company, even when you can't see the water itself. Here are four signs that water may be damaging your home.

Wet Drywall

One of the tell-tale signs of water damage behind your wall is wet drywall. However, many people miss the signs that their drywall is wet. Unless you touch it, you may not realize that your drywall is wet, because it can absorb a great deal of moisture. However, as it absorbs moisture, it begins to deform. This gives the drywall a wavy appearance. If you look at a wall, and it doesn't look flat, or looks wavy, you can bet it is water damaged.

If you notice this, go up to the wall and feel it. It may feel wet to the touch, cool or you may notice a chalky feel to it. All of these are signs water is present. If the water is left to sit in the drywall for an extended period of time, you may notice cracks forming, especially near the seams of your walls, or you may notice the paint chipping and flaking away. Soon after, you may see condensation or actual water droplets on the wall.

Unpleasant Odors

Another sign that water is somewhere in your home that you can't see is the unpleasant odor associated with water damage. The first type of smell that you may experience is a strong, pungent odor. This odor will be more strong where the water is present. Within a few days this odor will subside and will replaced with a mildew-like or musty smell. If you notice an odor in your home, and aren't sure what it is or where it is coming from, there is a possibility you have a water leak or moisture is making its way into your home.

Buckling Floors

If you have a broken pipe beneath your home, or flooding in your crawl space, one of the first indicators you may see are buckling floors. This occurs with wood, tile or linoleum floors. These materials are not very absorbent, so unlike carpet and padding that can absorb the moisture, they begin to shift as the water pushes up on them. You may see a few warped wood floors, bubbling under the linoleum and cracks in your tile grout initially. But if left, the floor will begin to buckle and you will see hills and dips in your flooring.

Water Stains on the Ceiling or Walls  

The last sign of potential water damage in a home is water stains on the ceiling or walls. This is most prevalent when water damage is caused because of a leaky roof. If moisture is present and then dries out, the drywall on your walls and ceilings will have a dark or dirty spot where the leak was. This is a sign that moisture was present at one time in the area. If you do not fix the problem, and moisture returns, the drywall can begin to bubble or even collapse because the drywall has been compromised and damaged.

Unfortunately, it is not always obvious that you have a water leak in your home and that you are in need of water damage cleanup. Knowing what the signs of hidden water damage in your home are will help maximize your chances of catching smaller water issues before they turn into later ones, or before mold begins to grow in your home. For more assistance, contact companies like RTC Restoration.